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Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is the most common biliary epithelial malignancy in Northeast Thailand. The critical obstacle of CCA therapy is cancer chemotherapy resistance with intolerance of adverse drug reactions. A new approach has been the investigation of alternative herbal medicines for cancer therapy. The fruit of Phyllanthus emblica (PE) has several pharmacological properties, including potent anticancer properties. The present study aimed to evaluate the antiproliferative activity of the bark extract of Phyllanthus emblica in methanol on the KKU-452 CCA cell line. The cytotoxicity of Thai herbal plants, Solanum torvum (fruit), Nephelium hypoleucum (fruit), Schleichera oleosa (fruit), Antidesma thwaitesianum (fruit), Tamarindus indica (fruit, leaf, bark) and Phyllanthus emblica (fruit, leaf, bark), were screened against KKU-452. Cell proliferation, apoptosis and migration were evaluated using MTT-, Annexin V apoptosis- and wound healing assays, respectively. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) was determined by DCFH-DA fluorogenic dye staining. Bark of PE extracts was subjected to HPLC analysis. Results showed that the bark extract of P. emblica only had a potent cytotoxic effect on KKU-452 (IC50 of 52.2 µg/ml) and significant induction of apoptosis. Other plant extracts showed low potency of cytotoxic effects. Cell migration was significantly inhibited by P. emblica at 25 and 50 µg/ml by 42.8 and 32.9%, respectively. Moreover, the extract at 50 µg/ml induced oxidative stress via ROS production at 31% when compared with non-treated cells. Phenolic acids and flavonoids are the important phytochemical components in the bark extract of P. emblica. The cytotoxic effect of the bark extract of P. emblica was related to free radical generation.
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